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Scratch tickets lead record lottery sales, lotto sales still a concern

CLIVE — July is the last month of what has already been a record-setting fiscal year for the Iowa Lottery.

Lottery CEO Matt Strawn says people found lottery games a safe thing to do in the pandemic — with scratch tickets leading the way. “It will be a record year for scratch tickets sales, as the Iowa Lottery is on pace to sell 300 million dollars of scratch tickets for the first time in its history,” Strawn says.

Speaking during the recent Lottery Board meeting, Strawn talked about the impact of scratch ticket sales on the bottom line. “Through May, scratch tickets sales were slightly over 290 million dollars. This represents 69-point-seven percent of all lottery sales thus far,” Strawn says.

The sale of national lotto games did come back some after suffering during the pandemic.  Strawn says big jackpots in Powerball and Mega Millions that exceeded 700 million dollars earlier this year allowed their sales to rebound in this fiscal year after an historic low performance in the previous fiscal year.

Strawn says the lotto games have not returned to previous levels. “Powerball and Mega Millions sales are collectively 29-point-eight percent ahead of last year’s performance through May,” according to Strawn. “However, despite that year-over-year improvement, both national jackpot lotto games continue to underperform their historic averages.”

Strawn says the poor performance of the lotto games is cause for concern.  He says the national lotto games are the ones that produce the strongest revenue margins for the Iowa Lottery.

Strawn says efforts are being made to bolster the national lotto games with things like expanding the number of weekly drawings.

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